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Germany’s military is unable to meet its medium-term readiness target should NATO call on its members to mobilize against an attack, officials said Monday.

The revelation follows days of embarrassing reports about equipment failures that included German army instructors being stranded in Bulgaria en route to Iraq when their plane broke down, and delays in sending weapons to arm Kurdish fighters because of another transport problem.

In the latest incident, the military said one of two aging C-160 aircraft flying German aid to Ebola-affected West Africa has also been grounded on the island of Gran Canaria since the weekend, awaiting repairs.

Asked about a Der Spiegel report that Germany at this juncture wouldn’t be able to offer the appropriate number of military aircraft within 180 days of an attack on the NATO alliance, Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff confirmed that was the case.

But, he said, Germany’s short-term readiness isn’t an issue.

“The alliance and defense capabilities aren’t in question,” he said.

Still, Flosdorff said a report written by outside experts due to be published next week wouldn’t make for comfortable reading.

“We need to be prepared for the fact that we will be dealing with individual problems for some time, and I’m not talking about months but rather years,” he said.

The military’s former chief of staff, Harald Kujat, told rbb-Inforadio the equipment failures show the country needs to spend more on defense.

Germany this year reduced defense spending by about 800 million euros to 32.44 billion euros ($41.30 billion) far below NATO’s recommended level of 2 percent of GDP.

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Germany Unable to Meet NATO Readiness Target

Russian authorities are finalising draft laws which will continue to outlaw cryptocurrency in the country in any shape or form.

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Russia Stands Firm on Outlawed Bitcoin


“It is not for the Australian Tax Office to ‘man up’ as there needs to be a legislative power for it to do so.” Photo: Jeffrey Chan

It is no wonder that 60 per cent of the ASX 200 companies use tax havens (“Big business ‘shirks’ fair share of tax load”, September 29). They are simply following the example set by Australia’s $100 billion Future Fund. This fund invests overseas using 47 tax haven entities it owns, and three it does not own 50 all up.

The Future Fund pays no Australian income tax, just GST and FBT. Joe Hockey has stated that the Future Fund is following its own environmental, social and governance (ESG) guidelines, and is operating within the framework of the principle of sovereign immunity (the state cannot commit a legal wrong). The government’s concerns with multinationals using tax havens appears to be a case of “do as I say, don’t do as I do”. Sovereign funds are not of a higher moral order than an ordinary corporation.

Bill Johnstone Marrickville


I’ve tried to believe that sacking workers improves a company’s “productivity”. That flogging public assets to private profit makers will improve their “efficiency”. That it’s fair for executive salary growth to have outstripped mine by a factor of 30-plus. That because my tax now funds the profit-making projects of “private contractors, commercial-in-confidence”, rather than public works, it’s none of my business how it’s spent. I’ve tried to believe that my little boat will rise on the tide of collective growth even as it trickles down and forms a bigger slice of cake for all. If I ask how the free market can grant James Packer’s casino a 50-year, publicly underwritten profit-or-compo safety net but can’t even guarantee how many casual hours I’ll be rostered on tomorrow, I’m told I’m “economically illiterate”, a leaner, entitled, playing class warfare. Tax? Last year, the ATO found resources enough to bill me an extra $600, annual salary of $55,000. Guess illiterate me stuffed the sums on the back of my envelope at the kitchen table.


Don’t want the economists running my country any more, please. Isn’t working. Isn’t fair. Isn’t Australian.

Jack Robertson Birchgrove

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Advance Australia on unfair tax sidesteps

2008 Jeep Liberty Used Cars Roswell GA This 2008 Jeep Liberty is available from Town Country Motors. For details, call us at 770-998-0000.

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2008 Jeep Liberty Used Cars Roswell GA – Video

In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo, Zhang Jing, a police officer poses with a Chinese national flag on the Quanfu island, a Paracels of Sansha prefecture of China’s Hainan province. This is the southern frontier of China, Zhang said when he had reached one of the islands. As a Chinese, I feel proud to come here and declare sovereignty. (AP Photo/Peng Peng)(The Associated Press)

In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo, Chinese tourists take souvenir photos with Chinese national flag as they visit to Quanfu island, a Paracels of Sansha prefecture of China’s Hainan province. A cheer erupted on board at the sight of the distant land, and passengers scurried to take pictures of each other at the railing holding Chinas bright red flag. (AP Photo/Peng Peng)(The Associated Press)

In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo, Chinese tourists disembark from an inflatable boat upon arrival in Quanfu island, a Paracels of Sansha prefecture of China’s Hainan province. They had each waited months for permission to join the tour and then spent from $1,200 to about $2,000 to visit these barren patches of sand in the South China Sea, making do with the bland cabbage and noodles on board and blackouts of cellphone service. (AP Photo/Peng Peng)(The Associated Press)

In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo, Chinese fisherman Fan Qiusheng chats with a woman outside his wood-and-tarp shack on the Yingyu island, a Paracels of Sansha prefecture of China’s Hainan province. Fan was waiting for tourists on the beach of Yingyu island outside the wood-and-tarp shack where he lives nine months of the year. He said the central government pays him 1,350 yuan, or about $220, a month to stay put while providing him with food, water, electricity and other supplies. (AP Photo/Peng Peng)(The Associated Press)

In this Sept. 14, 2014 photo, a Chinese navy frigate cruise near the paracel islands of Sansha prefecture of China’s Hainan province. A cheer erupted on board at the sight of the distant land, and the other passengers scurried to take pictures of each other at the railing holding Chinas bright red flag. A few miles away, a Chinese navy frigate cruised by silently, part of the countrys continuing watch over the tiny islands it has long claimed as part of its territory. (AP Photo/Peng Peng)(The Associated Press)

ABOARD THE COCONUT PRINCESS Zhang Jing watched the gray shells of the Paracel Islands emerge from the purple, pre-dawn South China Sea. Here was the focal point of a cruise more about politics than pleasure.

Cheers erupted on board at the sight of the distant land, and Zhang and the other passengers scurried to take pictures of each other at the railing holding China’s bright red flag. A few miles away, a Chinese navy frigate cruised by silently, part of the country’s continuing watch over the tiny islands it has long claimed as part of its territory.

“This is the southern frontier of China,” Zhang, a policeman, said when he had reached one of the islands. “As a Chinese, I feel proud to come here and declare sovereignty.”

With the Tangshan resident and 167 other Chinese tourists on board, the ship had traveled more than 200 miles south of Hainan Island off China’s southern coast to what they said was an indisputable outpost of their country.

Each had waited months for permission to join the five-day tour, and spent from $1,200 to about $2,000 to visit these barren patches of sand, making do with the bland cabbage and noodles on board and blackouts of cellphone service.

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Cruises to disputed islands offer bland food, gray views and a chance to press China's claims

SEO Services Australia: The Best Digital Marketing Company in Australia
SEO Services Australia, one of the most respected digital marketing authorities in the country, offers online reputation management services at affordable rates. Their organic SEO services…

By: Wilma Cervantes

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SEO Services Australia: The Best Digital Marketing Company in Australia – Video

(MENAFN – QNA) South Korean companies and individuals invested nearly US23 billion in 50 tax havens over the past seven years, data showed Sunday.

According to the data by the National Tax Service and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, South Korean individuals and companies invested 22.77 billion in the tax havens from 2007 through 2013.

The amount represents about 12% of overall overseas investments made by South Korea worth 197.88 trillion won about (US189.4 billion) during the period, according to South Korea’s (Yonhap) News Agency.

Of the tax haven investments, 79.6% were made by big local companies, while 9.6% were made by small and mid-sized companies.

The money going to the tax havens has been on the rise since 2009 when the country was hit by the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, coming in at 5.41 trillion won in 2013.

The ratio of the tax haven investment to South Korea’s overall overseas investment rose to 17.4% last year from 8% in 2007.

Conglomerates contributed the most to the increase, the lawmaker who demanded the data said.

“The rise in the investment to tax havens was due mostly to local big companies’ increased investment (there),” Rep. Oh Jae-sae of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy said. “We need to keep closer tabs on their move to use the tax havens as it could lead to tax evasion.”

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S. Koreans, Firms Invest nearly US$23 Billion in Tax Havens

Sep 292014

okinawan islands vol3
Okinawa Japan is located Southwest of mainland Japan and is the southern most prefecture for the country. there is so many beautiful nature. I hope you enjoy virtual trip of Okinawa.

By: Hiro Ohama

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okinawan islands vol3 – Video

Sep 292014


BIKES ONLY: Rottnest Island.

For many travellers, thoughts of cycling trips conjure up only foreign images – French vineyards, Tuscan hills, Cuban beaches – but there are roads and trails just across the ditch that are just as enticing.

Though the vast distances of the open Australian highway may not appeal, there are numerous bike-friendly options that beckon right across the country. Here’s our pick of the best cycling trips.


BEERS AND BIKES: On the High Country Brewery Trail.

Three ingredients for a great cycling trip: a mountain bike, the trails ofVictoria’s High Countryand a handful of craft breweries.

In a line from Glenrowan to Mt Beauty, four local brewers have combined to produce a booklet detailing each of their favourite mountain bike rides, ranging from a scenic roll through the Warby Range, to a whirl around the Beechworth Mountain Bike Park, to a gentle spin along the river in Bright. A beer awaits at the end of every ride, of course.

Download the booklet

GREAT OCEAN ROAD: Great for driving, even better for cycling.

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Top 10 cycling trips in Australia

Published September 26, 2014

BERLIN Opposition lawmakers have asked Germany’s highest court to rule on whether former NSA contractor Edward Snowden can come to Berlin to testify about the agency’s activities.

Members of the Greens and the Left Party said Friday that they want a parliamentary panel investigating the National Security Agency’s activities in Germany to hear Snowden in person.

The government doesn’t want to allow Snowden into the country, citing the damage this could do to Germany’s relationship with the United States.

Instead, government parties on the panel want to question Snowden in Moscow, where he is currently in exile.

The former NSA contractor has said through a lawyer that he will only speak to the panel if he is allowed to do so Germany.

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German opposition seeks court ruling to force Snowden hearing on NSA in Berlin

The Commander Cody Band – Take The Fifth Amendment – 8/5/1977 – Convention Hall (Official)
The Commander Cody Band – Take The Fifth Amendment Recorded Live: 8/5/1977 – Convention Hall – Asbury Park, NJ More The Commander Cody Band at Music Vault: h…

By: Folk Country on MV

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The Commander Cody Band – Take The Fifth Amendment – 8/5/1977 – Convention Hall (Official) – Video

Charlo Greene Quit Her Job For Marijuana Freedom
Millions of people are arrested for marijuana Charlo Greene is fighting for freedom of choice.The laws need to be changed across the country.

By: Swoopes World

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Charlo Greene Quit Her Job For Marijuana Freedom – Video

Sep 272014

Gay marriage advocates are counting on Supreme Court justices to be watching the Sunday shows ahead of their first private conference of the new term Monday.

Freedom to Marry, a group thats long pursued gay marriage legalization in courts, will air a new ad aimed at urging the Supreme Court to take up one or more of the five cases currently on its docket. Most expect the Court to take up a caseand ultimately legalize gay marriage across the countrythis term. The justices could decide to start a case moving as early as Monday, though they could also wait until a future conference in the coming months.

Currently, 19 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized gay marriage. The cases already up for consideration by the court are from Utah, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Virginia and Indiana, with another from Ohio expected to follow soon.

(PHOTOS: Where same-sex couples can wed)

One nation, indivisibleexcept if youre gay, the narrator of the Freedom to Marry ad says, as a map appears on screen with all the states that have legalized marriage in bright blue, against the dull grey for all the rest.

Proponents and opponents alike are eager to see the Supreme Court establish one set ruling, a swift change from even just a few years ago. Thats not the only shift: now the wide expectation is that the court will rule in favor of legalization, likely with the courts four liberal justices joining Anthony Kennedy, whos spent years writing opinions that have eased restrictions on gays. Some even think Chief Justice John Roberts might join a legalization decision too.

(PHOTOS: 26 gay-rights milestones)

Over photos of gay couples, the narrator of the ad says, theyre taxed unfairly, denied Social Security and parenting rights, and can lose a family home when their loved one dies.

Our ad underscores the human costs of prolonging marriage discrimination. Every day of denial is a day of real and needless injury, indignity, and injustice to too many families across the countryand time matters, said Freedom to Marry found and president Evan Wolfson.

America is ready for the freedom to marry, 40 lower courts have affirmed the freedom to marry, even opponents are saying its time to bring the country to national resolution, Wolfson added. And it is, indeed, time.

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Freedom to Marry ad targets court

Singer-songwriter-activist Hali Hammer will lead a song circle at the free speech movement concert at Ashkenaz in Berkeley on Saturday Sept. 27. Photo: courtesy Ashkenaz

As a brief catalytic blast of energy, the Free Speech Movement achieved its primary goals so quickly that it didnt have much time to inspire enduring songs and anthems. But music played an important role in those heady fall months of 1964, when students forced UC Berkeleys administration to drop campus restrictions on political speech. Saturdays concert at Ashkenaz celebrates the 50th anniversaryof the FSM, while connecting the musical threads between the FSM and earlier progressive struggles.

See other events to mark the anniversary of the free speech movement

Hosted by Lynne Hollander, an FSM founder and the widow of movement icon Mario Savio, the evening opens with a song circle led by singer-songwriter-activist Hali Hammer, followed by brief sets by Country Joe McDonald and Nancy Schimmel, a veteran of the folk and womens music scenes who sees many connections between the FSM and todays Occupy movements. Shes likely to sing Billy Boy, a song by her mother, Malvina Reynolds, about the 1960 San Francisco protests over the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings, an FSM forerunner.

Country Joe McDonald: playing at a 50th anniversaryfree speech movement concert in Berkeley on Saturday Sept. 27. Photo:curtesy Ashkenaz

Rounding out the program are Terry Garthwaite, who founded the pioneering Bay Area rock band Joy of Cooking in Berkeley in 1967, and Barbara Dane, whos still an indefatigable force at 87. In many ways Dane embodies the activist tradition that connected the old left with the New Left (her son, Cuban guitarist Pablo Menendez, performs with his band Mezcla at Yoshis on Wednesday).

Songs have a way of revealing as well as healing, and of reminding us that we are part of the whole human condition, Dane writes in an email.Many new songs and new renditions of old songs have been fired by the spirit of the FSM, so it is only fitting that we celebrate this 50th anniversary by singing together again.

Similar to the way that the FSM bridged the cresting civil rights movement with the incipient anti-war and womens movements, the music of late 1964 inhabited an unstable zone as the Beatles and the British Invasion reconfigured the musical landscape. Rock n roll became inextricably linked to the counterculture the following year, but it was folk music that provided a soundtrack for the FSM, as Joan Baez famously came by Sproul Hall to lend her voice to the protesting students.

Terry Garthwaite, a Berkeley High grad who was a Cal senior majoring in sociology in 1964, had been singing in folk clubs around the Bay Area for several years, including the Jabberwock at Telegraph and Russell. She wasnt an activist, though she had followed and supported the protests led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huertas National Farm Workers Association (later known as United Farm Workers), and against the HUAC hearings in San Francisco. She joined the FSM protests, and ended up singing on top of the barricaded police car holding activist Jack Weinberg, whose arrest sparked the movement.

I have no idea how that happened, Garthwaite says about her impromptu performance. Someone must have known about me performing at Jabberwock and said bring your guitar by. I havent a clue what I played, but it must have been a folk song because in those days I wasnt writing my own songs yet.

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Berkeley concert marks free speech movements birthday

Hard as it is to believe, 50 years have passed since the Free Speech Movement changed the University of California, the City of Berkeley, and the Baby Boom generation forever.

And FSM veterans are coming back to Berkeley for a reunion from Sept. 26 through Oct. 3, climaxing with a rally at Sproul Plaza on Oct. 1, the anniversary of the day hundreds of students kicked off the movement by surrounding the police car holding Jack Weinberg on Sproul Plaza for 32 hours.

Robert Reich, Dolores Huerta and FSM veterans will deliver speeches from the Sproul steps, which were officially renamed the Mario Savio Steps in 1997.

The celebrations will continue throughout the fall, including a concert by Mavis Staples, a hootenanny at Ashkenaz, exhibits at the Bancroft Library and the Berkeley Historical Society, documentaries at the Pacific Film Archive, a political poetry night at the FSM Caf, freedom-of-speech symposia at the law school and the Academic Senate’s commemoration of its historic vote Dec. 8, 1964, in support of the student demands for free speech.

But the most intriguing event has to be the premiere of “FSM: The Musical,” which will debut at Berkeley Rep on Saturday, with two more performances the following day.

And get this: It was composed by Mario Savio’s son, Daniel, in collaboration with two veterans of the San Francisco Mime Troupe — Joan Holden and Bruce Barthol, the original bass player for Country Joe and the Fish.

FSM was an iconic moment for my generation. I was a sophomore at Yale when I read about the mass arrests in Sproul Hall, and I immediately rushed to the dean’s office and said, “I want to transfer to Berkeley!” “No way,” he replied. “We’ve already spent a year and a half trying to make a gentleman out of you, and we don’t want to blow our investment.” So I had to wait until I graduated in 1967. But by the time I got here, the scene had changed — and not for the better.

“FSM was not a hate-filled movement, and so much of what came after was,” says journalist Kate Coleman, who was an undergrad at Cal in 1964. “And a lot of it has to be credited to Mario. A lot of guys in the movement were arrogant jerks, but not him. He was so humble. I don’t think I really appreciated that until later, as the left got ugly and started to eat its own.”

And I think part of the blame lies with people like me. Unlike the FSM demonstrators in 1964, who were just trying to apply the principles of democracy they had learned in civics class, the next wave of students came to Cal itching for a fight.

And so was the other side. As Seth Rosenfeld points out in a perceptive article in the current issue of California magazine, nice guy Gov. Pat Brown had been replaced by Ronald Reagan, who was a radical, too, in his own way.

Original post:
Snapp Shots: Berkeley Free Speech Movement vets to return for anniversary

Slippery Slope: 'Bloody civil war or boots on ground NATO choices in Libya'
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) on U.S. foreign policy implications of airstrikes and training Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. The Libyan rebels are condemning NATO's lack of action in the country,…

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Slippery Slope: ‘Bloody civil war or boots on ground NATO choices in Libya’ – Video

AFP/Getty Images EBay CEO John Donahoe has long expressed interest in Bitcoin

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — EBay is taking a bet that digital currencies like bitcoin lead a new wave of payments in the future. And its doing this just ahead of the launch of Apples new, potentially eBay-rivaling, payments service.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company on Tuesday announced agreements with leading bitcoin payment processors BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin to enable PayPal merchants to accept the currency.

eBay EBAY, +0.51% will gradually widen its support of bitcoin, said Scott Ellison, PayPals senior director of corporate strategy, at first rolling out the capability only to merchants in North America.

The announcement comes at a critical point for PayPals merchants business as mobile payments continue to evolve.

Apple Pay, Apples AAPL, +1.56% new one-touch payment service, is set to spring to life next month in some 220,000 stores across the country.

While its unclear whether bitcoin will play a part in Apple Pay, Apple did lift its ban on bitcoin apps earlier this year, and it will eventually open up Apple Pay to developers, potentially enabling third-party interaction between bitcoin and Apple Pay.

I think PayPal recognizes they are at risk on a number of fronts and is becoming far more aggressive about meeting a wider variety of customer needs as a result than they otherwise would be, said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Analysts have been bullish on Apple Pay so far, particularly how debit and credit card transactions conducted through the platform will enhance Apples bottom line and transform the mobile-payments market.

EBays shares fell as much as 2.5% to an intraday low on Sept. 9, the day Apple Pay was announced at a lavish event in Cupertino. On Tuesday, they closed up 0.51% to $52.74 after spiking as much as 1.5% earlier in the day.

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Apple nudges PayPal deeper into bitcoin

The U.S. Forest Service has tightened restrictions on media coverage in vast swaths of the country’s wild lands, requiring reporters to pay for a permit and get permission before shooting a photo or video in federally designated wilderness areas.

Under rules being finalized in November, a reporter who met a biologist, wildlife advocate or whistleblower alleging neglect in any of the nation’s 100 million acres of wilderness would first need special approval to shoot photos or videos even on an iPhone.

Permits cost up to $1,500, says Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers, and reporters who don’t get a permit could face fines up to $1,000.

First Amendment advocates say the rules ignore press freedoms and are so vague they’d allow the Forest Service to grant permits only to favored reporters shooting videos for positive stories.

“It’s pretty clearly unconstitutional,” said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Alexandria, Va. “They would have to show an important need to justify these limits, and they just can’t.”

Liz Close, the Forest Service’s acting wilderness director, says the restrictions have been in place on a temporary basis for four years and are meant to preserve the untamed character of the country’s wilderness.

Close didn’t cite any real-life examples of why the policy is needed or what problems it’s addressing. She didn’t know whether any media outlets had applied for permits in the last four years.

She said the agency was implementing the Wilderness Act of 1964, which aims to protect wilderness areas from being exploited for commercial gain.

“It’s not a problem, it’s a responsibility,” she said. “We have to follow the statutory requirements.”

The Forest Service’s previous rules caused a fuss in 2010, when the agency refused to allow an Idaho Public Television crew into a wilderness area to film student conservation workers. The agency ultimately caved to pressure from Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

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Forest Service says media needs photography permit in wilderness areas, alarming First Amendment advocates

NEW YORK Perhaps the most interesting thing about President Barack Obamas climate change speech at the United Nations is what he didnt say.

Obama didnt promise $1 billion to help poor countries adapt to the dire effects of climate change, like France did. And he didnt offer any hints about how sharply greenhouse gas emissions would be cut in the years after 2020, like the European Union and several other countries did.

Instead, the president on Tuesday delivered a forceful but largely detail-free speech that sought to reassure the world about the United States commitment to reaching a global climate change agreement at crucial talks in Paris at the end of 2015, while leaving the specifics for later.

It was a good speech, but there was nothing revolutionary put forward, said Heather Coleman, climate change policy manager at Oxfam America.

Many groups fighting for a strong global agreement say revolutionary changes are needed if the planet has a chance of avoiding the most serious effects of climate change, such as widespread drought and substantial sea-level rise. While many environmentalists praised Obamas speech, others said theyre still waiting for more aggressive steps, like a concerted effort to wean the country off fossil fuels.

If the president really wants collective ambition, hes got to show a little more can-do spirit from the worlds leading economy, said Bill McKibben, who played a prominent role in Sundays massive climate march and is the co-founder of the environmental group Todays boasts about his climate efforts ring hollow in the face of America passing Saudi Arabia and Russia as the worlds largest oil and gas producer. We hope that when next year comes and he proposes actual targets, theyll start to reverse the trend.

Its no accident that Obama didnt make big promises. After years of failed international climate change negotiations, the president and his aides are keenly aware of the pitfalls of over-promising, even though the administration has taken unprecedented measures at home to tackle climate change, including seeking the first-ever greenhouse gas limits on the nations power plants.

The Obama administration faces a series of complicated considerations as it prepares its post-2020 emissions target, including determining what is achievable and politically viable, and how best the U.S. can pressure other countries to take similar action.

Peter Ogden, director of international energy and climate policy at the Center for American Progress, said the U.S. could use the time before it announces its post-2020 target to pressure China and other major polluters to offer strong targets of their own.

I actually think that its smart to be a little patient, spend some time after it has decided its own target to work quietly with China and others to push for equally strong ones from them, he said.

Read more:
Obama offers few climate details

Scores of former members of Israeli military intelligence’s very secret and quite elite Unit 8200 have publicly refused to collect information that is “used for political persecution” or “driving parts of Palestinian society against itself.” Courteous allies at the NSA, we now know, helped make that spying possible.

The news comes courtesy of the NSA’s chief unauthorized biographer, James Bamford, whose three-day Moscow bull session with traitorous notoriety prostitute, Edward Joseph Snowden, was the cover story in last month’s issue of WIRED.

Writing Tuesday in the New York Times, Bamford disclosed this alarming new anecdote from his Snowden debrief:

Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the NSA was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.

Typically, when such sensitive information is transferred to another country, it would first be “minimized,” meaning that names and other personally identifiable information would be removed. But when sharing with Israel, the NSA evidently did not ensure that the data was modified in this way.

Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communicationsemail as well as phone callsof countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. “I think that’s amazing,” he told me. “It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen.”

As of last week, exactly 43 ex-members of Unit 8200many young and active reservists who could theoretically be called again to serve Israel at a moment’s noticepassionately agree.

In an act of protest that had been planned well in advance of this summer’s brutal bombing campaign in Gaza (which you may have heard killed 2,100 Palestinians and turned Gaza City into the lunar ruins of an ancient alien race), the young members of Unit 8200 drafted a long letter publicly refusing to participate in any further intelligence gathering activities against the Palestinians.

“The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators,” the letter says. Adding, “In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed.”

Excerpt from:
The NSA Helped Israel Blackmail Palestinians

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

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